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BERLIN — It is only a breathless Hollywood script: treasure-hunter Indiana Jones races with German archaeologists to track down the fabled Ark of the Covenant, the chest that held the stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments were etched.
Now German researchers claim to have found the remains of the palace of the Queen of Sheba — and an altar that may have held the Ark.
The discovery, announced by the University of Hamburg last week, has stirred skeptical rumblings from the archaeological community.
The location of the Ark, indeed its existence, has been a source of controversy for centuries.
Regarded as the most precious treasure of ancient Judaism, it is at the heart of a debate about whether archaeology should chronicle the rise and fall of civilizations or explore the boundaries between myth and ancient history.